Back in June, Google temporarily shut down their Map Maker program for a number of reasons, including nefarious edits by some trusted users. For those not familiar, the Map Maker program allows anyone to suggest an edit to Google Maps, and other user would then be able to review it. Depending on a user’s trust level, some edits could go live without needing to go through an approval process. There were still a vast number of edits that needed to be approved by a Google operator however, and often times this led to delays in approving much needed edits and/or removals.
After reviewing the editing and approval process, Google has decided to select mappers in each region who will become “Regional Leads” in their areas.
We will be selecting mappers in each region and offering them the opportunity to become a “Regional Lead” on Map Maker. Edits made in a Lead’s region will be reviewed by both Google’s automated moderation systems and by the Regional Lead themselves. Google operators will only occasionally moderate edits in these areas.
This was a change requested frequently by Map Makers as oftentimes valid edits would be denied by the Google operators, largely because they didn’t have first hand knowledge of specific areas and were often in another country or continent altogether. Map Maker is expected to reopen starting in early August in phases and invitations will be sent to Regional Lead candidates asking if they wish to apply for the role. At this time there doesn’t seem to be a way to show interest in the role and candidates will most likely be selected by Google based on previous edit records.
Because edits will be reviewed and moderated by Regional Leads, it may take a bit more time for some edits to go through, but it should make edits more accurate and allow the removal of prank edits much more quickly as users outside of Google will have the ability to moderate these edits.
What do you think of Google’s new Map Maker approval changes? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.Source: Google